In a press conference today, WikiLeaks boss Julian Assange accepted two computer disks from former Swiss banker Rudolf Elmer. Stored on the disks are details on thousands of offshore bank accounts, which Elmer claims include evidence of tax evasion and other criminality. He also says he attempted to hand the files over to tax authorities and the media, but felt that he had no choice now but to go through WikiLeaks. Assange said that his organization would take time to go through all the documents — some 2,000 accounts belonging to “American, European and Asian individuals and multinational companies” — before releasing them. Apparently, account information belonging to celebrities, business leaders, mobsters, and 40 politicians is included on the disks.
This isn’t the first time Elmer leaked documents to WikiLeaks. In 2008 he provided information about his former bank’s offshore operations in the Cayman Islands, a disclosure that led a U.S. judge to temporarily shut down WikiLeaks.